In 2019, Sheba made medical history and launched the ARC Innovation Center.

ARC, which stands for Accelerate, Redesign, and Collaborate, was designed to “improve patient care, using innovation to provide real value to patients,” explains Prof. Eyal Zimlichman, ARC Founder and Director as well as Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer at Sheba.

ARC unites leading medical and academic institutions worldwide with innovative startups and strategic industry partners to develop, pilot, and roll out game-changing healthcare solutions.

By cultivating an ecosystem that prioritizes digital health, promotes open innovation, advances international collaborations, and provides a home for innovation and innovators, ARC significantly accelerates healthcare advances by pushing the boundaries of medicine around the world.

ARC: More than an Innovation Center

Recently, Prof. Zimlichman sat down with HealthLeaders to talk about the ARC innovation model, what it means for our medical center, and how it will benefit healthcare organizations as a whole.

Prof. Zimlichman: “ARC is not really an innovation center; it’s much broader because it has a global aim. ARC aims to transform healthcare around the world, and to do so by the year 2030. This goal requires a very specific strategy that will enable us to reach the global standard we’ve set for ourselves.

To achieve this goal, ARC has built a global ecosystem that now includes more than 140 members in almost 30 countries. These members all work together to lead transformation efforts for themselves, but also drive a global effort. This is unique because other hospitals typically focus internally to create solutions to be deployed only in their institutions.”

As healthcare faces many challenges, the Sheba team identified the most pressing issues and focuses innovation efforts accordingly. These include patient safety, workforce shortages, and the rising cost of healthcare, which is quickly becoming unsustainable. To accelerate the creation of solutions, ARC focuses both on organic and open innovation.

One of the main goals of Sheba is to advance healthcare innovation aimed at improving patient care. With ARC, we’re during just that.

However, organic innovation is never enough to create meaningful transformation. For that, you also need to have open innovation, which is the ability to look outside your own walls. We find the best technology outside and bring it in to create an impact for our patients.

This is a central component of ARC as well. We’ve built an open innovation platform that constantly allows us to find the right technology, prove that it works, and take it to large-scale implementation.”

Realizing that startups operating as part of the ARC Ecosystem often require support to grow, Sheba created 3 VC funds.

Prof. Zimlichman: “In 2019, we identified the need for capital within ARC and established our first fund, Triventures. This was followed by two more funds, including Shoni Health Ventures. They are also critical to ensure we get great ideas and technologies to scale up.”

ARC and AI Technology

One key to the future of care is the implementation of AI technologies, which can help optimize healthcare management and clinical decision-making. Several ARC companies are already making great strides in the field.

Prof. Zimlichman:Aidoc started at Sheba and is now deployed in 1,200 hospitals worldwide. It helps radiologists in the emergency department read scans more efficiently and has led to an improvement in patient outcomes–reducing mortality rates, for example, but also creating a reduction in cost for the hospitals due to the increased efficiency of radiologists. This is an example of where we could help in terms of being more sustainable by reducing our dependence on the human factor and improving quality and patient safety.”

Prof. Zimlichman concludes by looking to the future: “We see the ARC ecosystem growing, becoming stronger, and building better ways to collaborate. It’s always a journey that we’re on. ARC will have a substantial impact on what healthcare worldwide will look like, accelerating transformation efforts by creating new solutions that will answer the many challenges we are facing.

Eventually we see ARC as a global force that will lead to two key outcomes we’re focused on. The first is improving the health of populations around the world through transformation. The second is driving the economy, within the local ecosystems, through investments, job creation, business growth, and so on.”